Like so many people looking for a partner, Krista turned to the internet. She learned to decode men's profiles. "When they say they're not materialistic it means they have no money and no job," she said, for example.
Krista noticed Andrew's ad because it was so well-written. When she called him, she liked the way he sounded. They decided to meet at a fancy downtown hotel for afternoon tea. She said:
"Except for a short time when we broke up, we've been together ever since. We got married in 2008. I was 39, and he was 37. It was my first marriage and his second. We got married at the same hotel on a Sunday at noon. We had an afternoon tea party to commemorate our first date.
"It was a very small wedding, 13 people, a jazz combo playing standards and show tunes with dancing, Champagne, bloody marys, screwdrivers, kir royales, tea sandwiches, scones, pastries and wedding cake. People tell us it was one of the best weddings they had ever attended.
"It's been eight years since we married. We've faced some major life issues. I had neck and spine surgery and was on leave from work for seven weeks. Both of my parents died within 18 months of each other. Andrew's mother had a series of ministrokes that left her with borderline dementia.
"We've dealt with these issues as a team. I know that he'll always be there for me, and he knows that I'm here for him.
"We're more in love than ever. He's truly my soul mate, and I'm his. We spend all of our time together. We're compatible in so many ways. We've decided not to have children, and we're fine with that. We have lovely evenings together -- having dinner, talking, reading, listening to music or watching Netflix. We take wonderful vacations.
"We seldom argue and fight. We respect each other and don't try to score points off each other. We're not sarcastic. We don't belittle each other. When one of us is snappy, the other realizes that there must be some underlying issue, asks about it and patiently waits for the other to open up. When we actually have a disagreement, it's usually because of a misunderstanding.
"I'm always amazed when I hear husbands and wives practically yelling at each other in public, being sarcastic, scoffing and in general being disrespectful. It makes me sad to think what their life is like behind closed doors.
"I find it so sad that couples take each other for granted and don't bother paying attention to each other. Andrew and I constantly find ways to let the other know that they're cherished, special and loved.
We're immersed in each other and in what the other is saying. We show affection frequently and have ever-changing ongoing funny names for each other. We have private jokes and consider each other to be our best friend.
"Perhaps it's because it took us so long to find each other, and because we were more mature than most couples and knew what we wanted and didn't want in a spouse, that we value each other more and make sure the other knows it."
-- Is there one thing about your partner that drives you crazy? Send it, along with your relationship questions and problems to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."